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I'm tired of Starbucks

Original post made by Jenna, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Jan 9, 2007

Why do we need 5 of them in Menlo Park? I always try to go to Martha's pastries for my coffee or plantation, which are small independent businesses that I like to support. When I do happen to go into Starbucks my order is constantly screwed up and the Coffee isn't that great, it’s not cheap and still, the line is out the door. I feel bad for these smaller local businesses that suffer because the big guy has opened next door. I hope once in a while you'll support me in popping in and supporting these small mom and pop owned places once in a while.

Comments (9)

Posted by Steve J
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 2:01 pm

I really couldn't agree more. I don't go to starbucks at all

Posted by Menlo Park resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 9, 2007 at 3:10 pm

I avoid Starbucks, but really enjoyed giving two Starbucks gift cards to homeless people over the hoilday. The cards came to me unasked for.

Posted by Anna
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jan 11, 2007 at 10:00 am

I highly recommend Plantation on the Alameda (near Starbucks, but part of the community for far longer). Not only can you get very good coffee but the people who run the place are wonderful. I usually leave fairly glowing, and it's not only from the caffeine.

Posted by Mr. Man
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jan 12, 2007 at 4:17 pm

I hate to say this because I try not to go to Starbucks, but Plantation's coffee does not measure up. I haven't had Plantation coffee in a couple of years, now, because I drink house coffee to save money. But if I want to buy coffee in the West Menlo Park area, I go to Starbucks.

It's the taste. With Plantation, my recollection is that the coffee doesn't have that essential bitterness. At Peet's, they overdo the bitterness. Starbucks gets it right.

There, I've said it. I've given Starbucks a plug. Somebody smack me. I am ashamed of myself, but I am also telling the truth as I see it.

Posted by NoToCorporateCoffee
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2007 at 5:41 pm

There's plenty of bitterness to go around when we're talking Starbucks. Just ask those mom-and-pop owners of the small coffee shops that have folded because Starbucks strategically set up shop next door or nearby. How bitter do you think the elderly owner of a small coffee house was when Starbucks went to his landlord and offered three times the rent for the space his business had thrived in for years? I'll go elsewhere for a cup of coffee rather than to Starbucks for a cup of predatory poison.

Posted by George
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 12, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Hi everyone.

Back east, I used to enjoy Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. Reasonable price, great taste.

I hate starbucks as much as I hate Wal-Mart.

Isn't it creepy to always see those guys looking at their laptops with their backs to the wall? That's so not cool. They make it hard to find seats at times. Oh, one more thing... ALWAYS order small, medium or large (unless you like being part of the cattle herd).

Posted by Chai Latte
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 15, 2007 at 9:57 am

The first and last time I went into a Starbucks I nearly slapped the clerk after a dispute over their idiotic sizes. I asked for a "medium," and the clerk acted like I was using some sort of nonsense word.

"We have tall, grande and venti."
"You don't have a medium size?"
"We have tall, grande and venti."

"Which one of those is the biggest?" I asked.
"The venti -- it's 20 ounces."
"Great," I said. "Which one is the smallest?"
"The tall."
"And what's the one in the middle?" I asked.
"So grande is your medium size. I'll take that." I said.

And then I launched into a tirade about how it didn't make any sense that their name for medium means Large in Italian, and their name for large means 20 in Italian.

"That's because the Venti is 20 ounces," said the imbecile at the counter.

"Italy is on the metric system! The don't even use ounces -- everything's measured in liters!" I shrieked.

The moral of the story is, not only do I avoid Starbucks for the obvious economic and social reasons, but also for the sake of my mental health (and to keep myself from getting thrown into jail for assaulting a barista).

Posted by Like Starbucks
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 15, 2007 at 11:59 am

I like Starbucks - the quality is alwyas the same and the staff is pleasant.

Going into a tirade at some counter person who is only doing their job as proscribed by their management shows an level of hostility that is scary. Just because one drinks coffee from a local shop does not make you superior to those of us who frequent Starbucks. Nor does your superiority complex give you the right to browbeat a low level employee of a large comany. If you have a rpoblem, take it up with Starbucks' management - leave the employees who are just doing their job implementing their company branding and product positioning a break. They are also members of our community and are only doing their job - quite well I might add.

This is a free market. Obviously people like Starbucks or ther would not be 5 shops in Menlo Park.

Posted by Mr. Man
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jan 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm

After reading the post from "Like Starbucks," maybe I will change my behavior and not go to Starbucks any more. Do I want to go somewhere where the result is "always the same" and a staff that is "always pleasant?"

Eccentricity and character are values I tell myself that I appreciate. So what if someone isn't pleasant or the coffee is a little off. Everyone has bad days and good.

Isn't sameness, and the expensive research that creates it, the precise problem with corporate products? If we gravitate to sameness, are we not surrendering to a siren song and thereby losing something vital in ourselves and our communities?

That's it for me. I'm off Starbucks. I'll take my chances with Plantation and maybe keep some character, and money, in my community. Maybe I could just explain my opinion about Plantation's coffee to someone at Planatation, and maybe get some real results.

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